German bunds gain after investors defy higher Q1 economic growth

Reuters

First-quarter GDP growth was 0.6%, faster than the October-to December 2016 figure of 0.4%.

Private households and the state had increased their consumption expenditures slightly at the beginning of the year, it added. This should continue to be the case because employment continues to reach record levels and the era of very low wage settlements is long over.

Destatis said mild winter weather contributed to a sharp rise in construction, while rising foreign demand for German goods also helped lift first-quarter growth from an annualized 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Merkel's conservatives have already widened their lead in opinion polls over the main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) who are junior partners in the current coalition and want to unseat Merkel with their chancellor candidate Martin Schulz.

The data also underlines the strength of the German economy compared with its peers.

Fear that trade barriers could spring up with Britain, one of Europe's largest economies and a key trading partner for Germany, meant that Brexit sapped the confidence of businesspeople, investors and consumers alike. It was the best quarterly growth rate in a year.

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.6 percent after adjustment for price, seasonal and calendar variations between January and March, the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden reported in a preliminary report.

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